How we assist National Societies

The IFRC Reference Centre for Pyschosocial Support (PS Centre) helps Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies develop the capacity to provide PS services at the community level in areas affected by catastrophic events and armed conflicts.

In practical terms, the PS Centre provides the following range of psychosocial support (PSS) services:

  • capacity building through training of trainers
  • assessments and evaluations in preparation for, and after completion of, PS interventions
  • support and advisement following emergencies in the relief phase
  • technical support during the implementation phase of new activities or programmes
  • support to the formation and maintenance of local networks
  • programme assistance to National Societies on how best to integrate PSS and PS care into their daily work and care for volunteers.

The cost of undertaking such activities is usually covered by the National Society that requests the support. However, in the case of low-income countries, with no funding options, this cost may sometimes be waived. The PS Centre maintains a list of professional volunteer consultants in order to be able to provide training, as well as other services, at all times. These consultants are asked to undertake missions upon request and are normally paid by the organization for which they work.

Working with National Societies, the PS Centre aims to:

  • increase awareness regarding PS reactions during times of disaster or social disruption
  • facilitate psychological and PSS
  • promote restoration of community networks and coping mechanisms
  • enable National Societies in particular to understand, and respond better to, the PS needs of vulnerable groups
  • promote emotional assistance to staff and volunteers dealing with these groups (care for the carers).

The PS Centre does not undertake any direct interventions with affected people. Instead, we assist National Societies in doing so through their local staff and volunteers. We also help to build regional and local PSS networks.